intercontinental sydney gourmet tour

Noodlies, Sydney food blog is about uncovering authentic, culturally diverse food and culture around Sydney.  When the good folks at InterContinental Sydney told me about their exciting new Sydney Gourmet Tour, I really couldn’t say no.

The tours are There are two tours on offer, Inner West and South Sydney, both showcasing Sydney’s amaze balls culturally diverse food scene as well as the opportunity to meet the people behind these wonderful places. Today, I’m getting the ‘medley’ experience, a five-hour sample of both tours:

  • The Coffee Roaster (South Sydney Tour)
  • Establishment 218 (South Sydney)
  • P.R. Raineri (Inner West)
  • Colefax Chocolate (Inner West)
  • St Peters Brewery & The Hive Bar (Inner West)
  • Bamboo Dumpling Bar (South Sydney)

The Coffee Roaster, Alexdandria
I’ve never seen so many different coffee beans in the one place and they come from all over the world, Rwanda through to Vietnam.  Right now, I think you can almost smell that fresh roasted coffee aroma which permeates a place like this.

the coffee roasters, alexandria

As a coffee addict, I actually know very little about the coffee process.  So I’m really fascinated to learn about the different types of beans, roasting process, including “air flow” roasting from owner of The Coffee Roaster.


Establishment 218, Alexandria
Establishment 218 is the retail outlet for the largest Australian-family owned beef abattoir, selling premium meat direct to the public at wholesale prices.  Located on O’Riordan Street in Alexandria, Establishment 218 offers customers the opportunity to select their own cuts of beef and have it cut it to their required thickness. Establishment 218 also carries a wide range of lamb, pork, poultry and smallgoods.

Today, we’re able to taste freshly bbq Angus beef with a range of Establishment 218 gourmet sauces.  It’s amazing the difference in taste and texture of a classy meat like those sampled at this unique meat producer/retailer.

establishment 218 alexandria

I  also learn about ‘marbling’ and the ageing process.  And yes, it does make a big difference!  A feature of Establishment 218 is that you can choose your meat from the cool room and have it cut to your thickness by the butchers on premises.  The meats are sorted by age and cut – but it’s not all beef, there’s poultry, lamb and offal on sale.  Check out the video to get a feel of this meat producer/retailer and the amazing prices.


P.R. Raineri, Five Dock
Noodlies has been to Raineri before and I’ve loved it.  Nothing has changed. Today, it’s as packed as ever with locals crowding the counter to get their supplies.  And Joseph is still here, effusively professing his love for good meat, cheese and olive oil.  Here he is behind the counter, telling the story of his parents who came from Sicily, Italy and why they started their business over five decades ago.

p. r. raineri, five dock

As Joseph talks as he slices various cold meats and cheeses for us to try: salamis, goat cheese, truffle cheese and even saffron cheese.  I don’t know if it’s his overflowing enthusiasm or deep knowledge, but I’m completely taken in and everything I sample is utterly delicious.

While we’re there, Joseph cooks up white fileja pasta and makes a white creamy sauce comprising of three different types of cheese.  See him make it in the noodlies video below… delicious!


Colefax Chocolates, Haberfield
The chaser to all the meat is Colefax Chocolates, a family owned gourmet chocolate producer and coffee shop.

colefax chocolates

The range is incredible, from traditional through to contemporary flavours and shapes like chilli flavour and cup cake designs.


St Peters Brewery, St Peters & The Hive Bar, Erskinville
I’m swept away by the simplicity and compelling case for a local brewery as explained by St Peters Brewery founder, Matt Donelan (below).   Local brewers are owned and operated by local people who love their neighbourhood. Matt’s business is in a little laneway where local street art is not only accepted, but strongly encouraged.

st peters brewery

The idea of local brewing is environmentally friendly too.  As Matt explains in the video below; this business model leaves a low carbon foot-print and requires minimal packaging.

Then we sample Matt’s beer which is sold at the Hive Bar, a cute local pub in nearby Erskinville.

the hive bar, erkinsville


Bamboo Dumpling Bar, Royal Albert Hotel, Surry Hills
Our final stop on the InterContinental Sydney Gourmet Tour is a groovy little pub in Surry Hills and we visit their restaurant to try dumplings. Owner Michael Bain tells us about the ‘underbelly’ origins of the Royal Albert Hotel.  He also introduces us to his range of traditional dumplings as well as ‘happy ending’ dessert dumplings.  Check out the video below.

Bamboo Dumpling Bar is a cute restaurant inside the Royal Albert Hotel.  An intimate, cosy environment is created by warm dark wood tones and an unusual, but very cute, colourful collection of suspended bird cages.

bamboo dumpling bar, surry hills

Traditional dumplings

And then there’s the less traditional dumplings.  “Happy ending” is a dessert which includes chocolate (nutella) dumplings (bottom right), ice cream rice paper dumplings (bottom left) and chocolate and caramel spring rolls with condensed milk (top left).  For some dumpling fans, this dessert may be a step to far, but judging from the reaction from our table, a happy ending does carry some novelty value.

bamboo dumpling bar, surry hills

Happy ending: dessert dumplings

After five hours of riding in a Mercedes van and eating a range of delicious cultural food, noodlies is left in a mild state of food coma, althought, it’s a very satisfying food coma.   But I’m biased, noodlies is about showcasing the wonder food diversity in Australia and Sydney Gourmet Tour does exactly that.  Well done InterContinental Sydney!

From $511 per night, the Sydney Gourmet Tour experience includes an overnight stay at InterContinental Sydney, full buffet breakfast for two at the hotel’s Cafe Opera restaurant and two tickets to a private, guided foodie tour .  This InterContinental hotel’s Sydney Gourmet Tour package is created in partnership with private tour operator Ultimately Sydney. Tours are conducted in small groups, running over four hours, with transfers by a luxury air-conditioned limousine and pick-up and drop-off at the hotel.

InterContinental Sydney Gourmet Tour package is available for stays on Mondays through Fridays between April 1 and October 31, 2012, with gourmet tours running the morning after the booked room night.

This noodlies, Sydney food and travel blog experience is courtesy of the InterContinental Sydney and Starr PR.

InterContinental Sydney
117 Macquarie St, Sydney
(02) 9253 9000